An Exhilarating Encounter


In the soft glow of electric candlelight, he spied the dish full of gingerbread cookies on a small table across the room. The traditional holiday treats were made from scratch earlier that day by a mother and her excited daughter in a cozy kitchen while festive snowflakes fell outside. Suddenly, his footfalls in the half-light, as quiet as he tried to be while placing gifts beneath the tree, roused the little girl asleep in the shadow of the banister trimmed with garland and bows. Waiting patiently for his arrival, she had nodded off on her staircase perch. Surprised by her stirring, he turned to catch her peeking out around the newel post. A beaming smile welcomed his presence as her eyes widened with astonishment. In a wave of emotions, he reflected on the year’s groundwork, guided, once again, by that reliable resource – the MEMIC Safety Net.

Early in the year, from reading John’s traction enhancement blog ‘Tis the Season to be Sanding, he had his property maintenance techs making regular trips to the local sandpit. Keeping up with arctic conditions, at times absolutely abominable, was a daily mission in mitigating slips and falls. As a further step in preventing falls, he passed along Alexis’s Increasing Engineering and Administrative Controls to Decrease Risk Exposure post to his “height“ achievers in the decorating department to apprise them of the NIOSH Ladder Safety App. He knew a bad ladder fall could end it all and he wasn’t about to let that happen on his watch.

Over at the toymaking shop, he reminded the chief elf and woodcrafter to keep a close eye on the sprinkler heads after reading Jason’s blog Sprinkler Heads – In Sight, But Out of Mind. With inventory building up, maintaining suitable head space was paramount, especially as time ticked closer to takeoff. To see the centuries-old structure go up in flames would truly be a crying shame. He thought of all the treasured toys that would perish, including a wooden rocking horse for someone close by who loved making cookies with her mom.

After taking in a healthy dose of vaccine information from Debra’s blog COVID-19 Vaccines along with Susan’s compositions COVID-19: Addressing Vaccination Hesitancy and Employers are a Trusted Source for Vaccination Guidance, it was shots on the house with a cold draft chaser down at the Polar Pub-turned-temporary vax clinic. Cheers! Indeed, these posts got straight to the point on the seriousness of rolling up a sleeve for a jab. It was his heartfelt hope that every country around the world would become a vaccination nation so the suffering could cease.

Disturbingly, he was fit to be tied after learning about the dishonesty of some people selling counterfeit N95 masks from Esther’s alert in Counterfeit N95 Masks – How Do You Know? His anger was eased by the image and information her blog contained on identifying the real McCoy from the cheap imitation. Fortunately, after an exhaustive search, no counterfeit masks were found in the infirmary or anywhere else. Nonetheless, he had two words for those making and selling counterfeit PPE – bah humbug! A lump of coal was on his list for them this year.

Naveen’s Workers’ Compensation Stigma narrative, penned with a personal touch, compelled him to urge everyone in his circle to report soft tissue injuries in a timely fashion rather than shrug them off. Going a step further, he used Randy Klatt’s review of MEMIC’s 24/7 Injury Triage and Telehealth service to establish a similar system for quick and convenient injury care in the Claus community. Another Klatt communication, Catch Someone Doing Something Right, brought him to better recognize and reward safe behavior when one of his peeps took positive action to promote safety. He realized how a proverbial pat on the back could boost morale and motivate safety-mindedness. It was two thumbs up to his choir of carolers for wearing ice cleats while walking in a winter wonderland.

He “Nicked” the quote “safety never takes a holiday” from Karl’s post The Science of Safety in the 21st Century and would often repeat it aloud while making rounds. The blog announced the creation of the MEMIC Safety Research Center for the advancement of safety science and technology that he opined as being poetry in motion. Tony Jones’s informative post Why Employees Resist Change moved him all the more to deal with resistance with patience and persistence while touting the value of change. Luckily, his team was pretty chill, which had a lot to do with their northern latitude and merry attitude. He undoubtedly understood transparency was the key to convincing his crew that science and innovation were essential for health and safety improvement.  

Rob’s Powered Industrial Trucks and PIT Certification post was forwarded to the lead foreman at the fulfillment center to ensure all the forklift drivers had a firm grasp of the equipment’s stability triangle and were certified on safe operation through skills assessment. It was a different kind of triangle in the Atlantic Ocean that concerned him when soaring south by sleigh towards tropical water. Barrett’s blog Cargo Securement – Gravity Doesn’t Cut It spurred him to buckle down on the bindings even harder on approaching the area as a bundle gone overboard would likely be lost forever.        

From this reflection, his rosy cheeks propped up with a proud smile realizing it was the dedication and hard work of all his helpers that made this exhilarating encounter happen. The joy he felt at that moment would last the whole night through. With a couple of cookies in hand, he waved good-bye and vanished in the blink of a delighted child’s eye. 

For the year it’s been, perhaps better than the last one, MEMIC Loss Control wishes everyone a safe and memorable holiday season.

By Greg LaRochelle

Courtesy of MEMIC

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